Monday, February 9, 2015

Keep Your Nose Warm If You Want To Avoid Catching a Cold

I have a brother who swears up and down that if he doesn’t bundle up while inside or when outside of his home he will get a cold. Even when he sleeps, he covers every part of his body with a hat, facemask, three layers of clothing, three layers of stockings, gloves, and covers himself with five or six layers of bed coverings. I have always thought he was eccentric and foolish. Now I have second thoughts.

Up to now, we have been told the common cold and flu were a result of contact with another person who was sick, or touching items they had contaminated and then touching your nose, eyes, or eating food without first washing my hands.

However, New research at Yale finds the rhinovirus responsible for the common cold is more of an immune system problem than it’s a problem with the virus itself. They found that the virus could reproduce itself more efficiently inside the cooler nose than in the warmer temperatures of the body and lung. That’s important because about 20% of us harbor rhinovirus in our nose.

Moreover, the lower the temperature, it seems the lower the innate immune response to viruses. While the common cold is no more than a nuisance for many people, it can cause severe breathing problems for children with asthma. Future research may probe the immune response to rhinovirus-induced asthma.”

So it’s important to follow contamination preventions in order to reduce your risk of getting a cold, but it’s just as important to wear layered clothing and a warm coat, a hat, gloves, appropriated footwear, keep your nose warm under a scarf, and bundle up while inside your home as well.

The complete study was published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Copyright © 2015 Horatio Green